01 Feb LO Spotlight: BPW/Upper Keys
Established (chartered) in:
Number of members:
Upper Keys Century Business & Professional Women (BPW/Upper Keys)
What’s interesting or unique about your location for working women?
Our Local Organization covers the “Upper” Florida Keys, a string of island communities including Key Largo, Tavernier, and Islamorada, which stretch south for about 30 miles. We are a popular tourist destination with many members running resorts, restaurants and recreation services. We also have retirees and seasonal residents in our community.
What are your meetings and networking activities like?
We have regular meetings on the third Wednesday of every month, usually alternating between a luncheon program at a local hotel and an evening networking event at a business. Our “Work the Network” themed luncheons feature ‘round robin’-type speed networking exercises to help members make connections that enrich their professional life and maybe make some new friends too!
What was your most popular or best-attended event in the past year? Do you have special events every year?
In October 2019, we had a month-long program of activities in recognition of National Women’s Small Business Month, including a sunset cruise, festive shopping, salon parties, and team participation in the American Cancer Society’s Key Largo Bridge Bra Walk. The festivities culminated in a 100th Anniversary Celebration Dinner with 85 participants, a keynote speaker and presentation of our Woman of the Year, Business of the Year and Woman of Distinction awards.
How does your organization participate in community-wide events?
BPW/Upper Keys is an institutional member of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce and participates in community events such as the annual Fourth of July Parade. Many of our members are also members of other local organizations.
What does your organization do to promote political awareness?
For every election cycle, our Public Policy Committee organizes a well-attended Political Forum and invites all candidates for local office to answer questions from our community. In 2019, we worked with local government leaders in our county to officially proclaim October 20-27 National Business Women’s Week. The Committee also raises awareness on education, the environment and other issues that impact our community.
What opportunities for personal and professional development do you offer?
BPW/Upper Keys has a board position focused on development, leading initiatives including a Professional Development Series of workshops on topics such as time management and team building. We also launched a mentoring program in 2019 to bring together women who are interested in building skills, learning best practices and sharing tools to create mutually beneficial professional relationships.
How do you support scholarships locally?
We have an active local scholarship program for adult women in our community. Individual scholarships of up to $1,500 are awarded and may be used for certifications, training classes, or classes and required materials for higher educational degrees.
How do you reach potential new members in your community?
BPW/Upper Keys reaches out to potential new members through publicity for our programs, participation in community events and through social media. The state-wide membership drive held in October 2019 during Women in Business month was a great success and signed up 26 new members.